Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio Del Toro in ‘Sicario’ (Photo: Lionsgate)
When last we heard about Soldado — the planned sequel to last year’s war-on-drugs thriller Sicario from director Denis Villeneuve starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, and Josh Brolin — its director, Stefano Sollima, was talking about his film as a stand-alone work focused on Del Toro’s hitman and Brolin’s CIA agent. While those plans remain in place, the writer of both Sicario and Soldado, Taylor Sheridan, has now given some additional details about the new project, indicating that it won’t shy away from its predecessor’s uglier aspects.
At an event for Hell or High Water — the Sheridan-penned bank-robbing saga starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster, and Jeff Bridges — the screenwriter discussed with Collider’s Tommy Cook the ways in which he’ll be upping the ante for the next episode in his drug cartel-fixated franchise.
“Lionsgate understood that they bought something that was a spec [on the first film]. So there was a certain amount of latitude they had to give me [on the sequel]. What usually would be a long meeting about what’s this character about, what’s his arc—we didn’t have that. They trusted me to just go do it, and with Sicario, which I’m really proud of, it really approaches some difficult subjects. I didn’t want to demean that with the second one. So I really wrote something I double dared them to actually make. Ten times more unsentimental, more vicious and really reflective… It’s funny a lot of people think Sicario’s about the drug war and the cartels. It’s not. It’s a movie about American policy and the way that we police and [Sicario 2] is that on steroids.”
While it’s debatable that Sicario wasn’t about the drug war and the cartels — and that its critique of American policy was, along with Emily Blunt’s federal-agent protagonist, its weakest element — it sounds as if the sequel will be an even tougher, more rugged ride into the narcotics underworld. While it has no firm release date, Soldado will reportedly be the second chapter of a planned trilogy, with Blunt possibly returning for its concluding installment.
‘Sicario’: Watch a trailer: